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#1 libspero

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Posted 12 April 2012 - 08:44 PM

I've been viewing houses on and off for the past 3 or 4 years but have never really seen anything I've considered spending money on.. until now.

I have found a place which ticks all the boxes and is within my price range.. it is tempting enough that I'm considering looking for a mortgage in principle **just in case**

Looking around I've considered the following options:

Barclays - I bank with them and have always have good service.. but they are (through Woolwich) more expensive, have higher fees and tougher over-payment fees than most other lenders.

HSBC - Appear to have the best rates, zero arrangement fees and zero over-payment penalty BUT I've read pretty terrible things about them online.. such as Here

The Mortgage Broker at the EA - Being linked to the EA they have an interest in making sure everything goes smoothly which is a good thing. On the other hand they will nodoubt sell me the product they make the most on - A bad thing (plus pass information about my particulars to the sales agent which could undermine my negotiating position).


Does anybody have advice they could offer.. in the world of mortgages is cheapest always best or is it worth paying a little more?

Any recommendations/advice appreciated :)

And I tell you we have learned from past mistakes.
Just as you cannot spend your way out of recession, you cannot, in a global economy, simply spend your way through recovery either.

(Gordon Brown, Labour Party Annual Conference, 29 September 1997)

So, housing affordability is better than it has ever been, but no-one can take advantage of this because they can't afford the houses. I see.
cybernoid - 7th August 2010

Gambling promises the poor what property promises the rich - something for nothing
George Bernard Shaw


#2 Si1

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Posted 12 April 2012 - 09:07 PM

check out discount brokers - ie may be able to get headline Barclays, HSB (whoever) mortgage produts cheaper than in a branch by refunding commission to you in return for a flat fee

#3 Lazybones

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Posted 12 April 2012 - 10:01 PM

I have been with First Direct for a while and can highly recommend. Maybe its the fact you can do everything online or on the phone/by post so never have to deal with branch staff.

#4 libspero

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Posted 13 April 2012 - 06:29 AM

check out discount brokers - ie may be able to get headline Barclays, HSB (whoever) mortgage produts cheaper than in a branch by refunding commission to you in return for a flat fee


Thanks Si1... not something I'd considered.

I have been with First Direct for a while and can highly recommend. Maybe its the fact you can do everything online or on the phone/by post so never have to deal with branch staff.


Interesting that you've had a good experience.. I like the idea of having a local branch so I can go in and "expedite" if things get stuck. That said, if they provide a good enough service that it's not necessary, all the better.

Edit to add: I have looked at them.. good rates.. very tempted but then notice you have to switch to their current account in order to qualify for any of their products. I don't really want to move my current account.. so that's going to scupper an otherwise good suggestion.

Edited by libspero, 13 April 2012 - 07:00 AM.

And I tell you we have learned from past mistakes.
Just as you cannot spend your way out of recession, you cannot, in a global economy, simply spend your way through recovery either.

(Gordon Brown, Labour Party Annual Conference, 29 September 1997)

So, housing affordability is better than it has ever been, but no-one can take advantage of this because they can't afford the houses. I see.
cybernoid - 7th August 2010

Gambling promises the poor what property promises the rich - something for nothing
George Bernard Shaw


#5 Normski

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Posted 13 April 2012 - 07:38 AM

It's interesting the positive responses regarding First Direct.
I've had 2 mortgage in principle arrangements set up over the last couple of years and both with First Direct. I liked the good medium term fixed rates and no arrangement fee, which is rare on a decent product.
Yes, I did have to swap current accounts. So easy as to be ridiculous, they do the forms for you.
One other small advantage with First Direct as a new customer is you can open a regular saver account for 12 months, up to 300 a month, that pays 8% interest.

#6 libspero

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Posted 13 April 2012 - 07:45 AM

It's interesting the positive responses regarding First Direct.
I've had 2 mortgage in principle arrangements set up over the last couple of years and both with First Direct. I liked the good medium term fixed rates and no arrangement fee, which is rare on a decent product.
Yes, I did have to swap current accounts. So easy as to be ridiculous, they do the forms for you.
One other small advantage with First Direct as a new customer is you can open a regular saver account for 12 months, up to 300 a month, that pays 8% interest.


Frustratingly good reviews..

The reason I don't want to switch my current account (apart from being happy with the service and good online banking facilities) is that my stock-trading account is directly linked to my current account and that is very handy for me. Otherwise I'd be tempted!

Edited by libspero, 13 April 2012 - 10:06 AM.

And I tell you we have learned from past mistakes.
Just as you cannot spend your way out of recession, you cannot, in a global economy, simply spend your way through recovery either.

(Gordon Brown, Labour Party Annual Conference, 29 September 1997)

So, housing affordability is better than it has ever been, but no-one can take advantage of this because they can't afford the houses. I see.
cybernoid - 7th August 2010

Gambling promises the poor what property promises the rich - something for nothing
George Bernard Shaw


#7 longtomsilver

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Posted 13 April 2012 - 06:53 PM

We got a good mortgage deal with the cooperative last year. With or without fees the rates are rather very good.
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#8 Driver

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Posted 20 April 2012 - 01:22 PM

You should not confuse customer services with regard to everyday banking, and the provision of a mortgage. Once a mortgage is set up, you will have minimal dealings with the lender.

#9 Son of Taeper

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Posted 20 April 2012 - 02:17 PM

Frustratingly good reviews..

The reason I don't want to switch my current account (apart from being happy with the service and good online banking facilities) is that my stock-trading account is directly linked to my current account and that is very handy for me. Otherwise I'd be tempted!


I'm hoping you were smart enough to spread your savings across a few banks and building societies in the past?
Now could be the time to see what your loyalty earned you.
You are going to need certain stuff to get any loan, so I would keep every account functioning for as long as poss.
As for choosing a provider, you need to look at the whole package, and how it suits you.
We use one of the biggest providers in the game but not because we like them.
They used to be pretty good for us, but got worse over the years until we threatened to leave them on subsequent purchases.
They always come up with a good deal now, although it still takes a threat to get them to see it our way.
The views expressed in my posts are my own based upon what I read on other information supplied by other HPC members.
These should not be used a a definitive answer to any posts I attempt to answer.




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